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Foreign affairs

Photos: Brazilian police evict 5,000 squatters

REUTERS/Ana Carolina Fernandes

Ahead of this summer's World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, officials have been trying to stamp out host city Rio de Janeiro's many favelas. More than 20 percent of the city's 6.3 million residents live in these slums, occupying abandoned land and buildings, often answering to armed drug gangs that operate under their own set of economic and organizational structures.

On Friday, police got the go-ahead to clear one such favela, housing 5,000 squatters in a series of abandoned buildings.

The eviction did not go smoothly.

People began protesting, throwing rocks at police and shouting, "We want houses!"

The officers responded with rubber bullets, tear gas and grenades. Below, images of an eviction in a city that still has many left to carry out. --Sarah Eberspacher